How do Puzzles work?

Puzzles (used to be called tactics) are a great way to improve your rating through practice and pattern recognition. To do puzzles, from the home page,  click ‘Puzzles’ on the left menu. Or click here!

There are multiple ways you can do puzzles on chess.com. You will see all the options on the right side of the screen when you go to puzzles. Click on the icon for whichever type you want to play, and click ‘start!’

Rated Puzzles

Playing these puzzles will give you a puzzle rating in much the same way you get a chess rating. If you get a puzzle right, your rating goes up, if you get it wrong, it goes down. 

The amount that your rating changes depends on how fast you complete the puzzle, and also what the rating of the puzzle is compared to your puzzle rating. 

After you complete a puzzle you will be able to see your stats on the right side of the screen. 

The graph shows your progress for the current session (if you close or refresh the tab this will reset.) 

You can also see:

  • The puzzle rating. If it’s lower than yours (your puzzles rating, not your chess rating), you wont get as many points, if it’s higher you will get more 
  • Target time to complete the puzzle. This is based on your current puzzle(tactics) rating 
  • Speed bonus. This is based on how close you got to the target time
  • Pass Rate. This is how often chess.com users successfully solve the puzzle
  • Attempts. This is the total number of times the puzzle has been played by all users.  
  • Themes. These are the different categories that the puzzle is tagged as. If any of these seems incorrect, you can click the 'thumbs down' icon to report a bad theme. 

Rated puzzles are a great way to learn, but be aware that your puzzle rating is not necessarily an accurate reflection of your chess rating! 

Puzzle Rush

Puzzle rush is a fast-paced, exciting way to learn tactics! In puzzle rush you have either 3 or 5 minutes to solve as many puzzles as you can, but if you get three wrong, the game ends no matter how much time you have left. Getting puzzles right or wrong in puzzle rush mode will not affect your puzzle rating, so don’t worry, and aim for that high score! 

You can also choose to play in 'survival' mode, with no time limit. Go as far as you can without getting 3 wrong!

When you complete a puzzle rush, you’ll see your stats and how that round compared to your past scores. 

On the right side of the screen you’ll also see a list of all the puzzles you went through. You can click on any one of the puzzles to open it in a separate window where you can take a closer look, or try to solve it again if you got it wrong. 

Try to beat your top score, and the scores of your friends! You can see your top score and your position on the leaderboard on the right side of the screen when you enter puzzle rush. 

Click on ‘Friends’ to see you ranked among your friends list. ‘Personal’ will show a list of your personal best scores. Your best score will also be listed along with your chess and tactics ratings on your profile! 

Practice puzzles every day to improve your score! 

Puzzle Battle

Puzzle battle is a 3 minute puzzle rush, but played against another player! See who can get the most right in 3 minutes! Click here to learn more about Puzzle Battle!


Daily Puzzle

This will take you to the forum post for the Daily Puzzle. Have fun solving the puzzle and discussing it with the community in the forum! 

Custom

In Custom mode (used to be Learning mode) you get to choose the themes and rating range of the puzzles you practice. There is no time pressure, and no winning or losing rating points, just learning! 

The right side of the screen will allow you to choose an area to focus on, and shows you the percentage of problem types you have gotten correct. These numbers are taken from your rated puzzle scores. 

Check any number of boxes for the themes you want to practice, and you will be given only puzzles tagged with those themes. 

You can also choose to include all puzzles, or only puzzles you have failed, and set a rating range. 

Click here to read more about different themes and types of tactics!

Did this answer your question? Thanks for the feedback There was a problem submitting your feedback. Please try again later.